Scottish Premiership
Ross County2Hamilton1

Ross County 2-1 Hamilton Academical

Liam Boyce's goal gave Ross County victory over Hamilton Academical and sealed the Dingwall side's Scottish Premiership safety.

Lucas Tagliapietra headed in Ali Crawford's corner to give Hamilton a first-half lead.

County recovered in the second period with Michael Gardyne equalising.

And, despite losing Filip Kiss to a red card, the hosts moved ahead when Boyce struck and that ensured they will not face a relegation play-off.

The victory, coupled with Motherwell's defeat by St Mirren, means County will finish above second bottom.

At one stage in this campaign Jim McIntyre's side seemed favourites for relegation but a sequence of positive results, including a nine-game unbeaten run has ensured top-flight status.

The afternoon started brightly for County in terrible early conditions. Raffaele De Vita's low cross was met powerfully by Craig Curran only for McGovern to palm away.

As the weather improved, County started to offer more offensively with Gardyne wriggling away from defenders before firing narrowly wide.

But Hamilton went ahead when Lucas rose to meet Crawford's delivery and powered a header past Antonio Reguero.

The momentum was clearly with the visitors but Jamie Reckord's delivery almost provided an equaliser, Curran somehow missing the target when he slid in at the back post.

Gardyne then went down in the box after a Kieran MacDonald challenge, but referee Bobby Madden waved his claims away.

Half-time seemed to give Ross County time to regroup and they started the second period on the front foot.

Tony Dingwall replaced Curran and his energy helped McIntyre's side trouble Hamilton more directly.

Martin Woods fired in a deflected effort which McGovern tipped over the bar. From the resulting corner the ball found its way to Gardyne, who smashed a sweet left-foot effort past McGovern.

Scores from Motherwell's game and fellow strugglers Kilmarnock's march towards victory over Partick Thistle were filtering through to Victoria Park and tension increased with each passing minute.

Eamonn Brophy shot narrowly over and Darian Mackinnon had a header easily gathered as the visitors tried to regain supremacy.

And the ensuing drama that unfolded was extraordinary. Filip Kiss, playing at right-back, was inexplicably sent off leaving County a man down as they chased a vital winner.

McIntyre could clearly be heard asking "what happened?" as Kiss left the field.

As home supporters looked on through cracked fingers, County scored what proved to be the goal that secured their Premiership status.

A corner broke into the path of Boyce and the Northern Irishman seized on his opportunity to drill home.

The stadium erupted and all ears turned to what was happening elsewhere. Premature celebrations began with many inside the stadium believing Motherwell had drawn with St Mirren.

Crawford fired against the bar for Hamilton in the last bit of drama before the final whistle.

And when news arrived that Motherwell had lost, there was unrestrained joy for the home crowd as they danced on the pitch, delighted that their side had finally seen off the threat of relegation.

Lucas Tagliapietra scores for Hamilton Academical against Ross County
Lucas headed Hamilton ahead
Ross County forward Michael Gardyne celebrates after scoring against Hamilton
Gardyne levelled in the second half
Ross County's Filip Kiss is sent off against Hamilton
There was confusion over why Kiss was sent off
Liam Boyce scores for Ross County against Hamilton Academical
Boyce (third from left) edge County into the lead
Ross County players celebrate with manager Jim McIntyre and chairman Roy MacGregor
McIntyre and chairman MacGregor joined the players in celebrating after full-time

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 1Reguero
  • 10KissBooked at 82mins
  • 44Fraser
  • 43Quinn
  • 12ReckordBooked at 16mins
  • 40GardyneSubstituted forBrittainat 86'minutes
  • 26Woods
  • 36Irvine
  • 24De VitaBooked at 80minsSubstituted forQuinnat 84'minutes
  • 11CurranSubstituted forDingwallat 50'minutes
  • 16Boyce

Substitutes

  • 4Quinn
  • 8Brittain
  • 20Sernas
  • 29Macleod
  • 30Dingwall
  • 33Tait
  • 38Burgess

Hamilton

  • 1McGovern
  • 12Lyon
  • 44De Lima TagliapietraBooked at 78mins
  • 24Tena
  • 15MacDonald
  • 6Gillespie
  • 17LongridgeSubstituted forDochertyat 87'minutes
  • 11Crawford
  • 18MacKinnonBooked at 55minsSubstituted forHasselbainkat 89'minutes
  • 7Imrie
  • 20BrophySubstituted forScotlandat 83'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Canning
  • 9Scotland
  • 14Hasselbaink
  • 16Watson
  • 21Docherty
  • 23McMann
  • 29Hill
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
3,381

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamHamilton
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home7
Away10
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home9
Away7
Fouls
Home6
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Ross County 2, Hamilton Academical 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Ross County 2, Hamilton Academical 1.

Foul by Liam Boyce (Ross County).

Grant Gillespie (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Jackson Irvine.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Nigel Hasselbaink replaces Darian MacKinnon.

Tony Dingwall (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jesus Garcia Tena (Hamilton Academical).

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Greg Docherty replaces Louis Longridge.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Richard Brittain replaces Michael Gardyne.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 2, Hamilton Academical 1. Liam Boyce (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Darian MacKinnon.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Rocco Quinn replaces Raffaele De Vita.

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kieran MacDonald (Hamilton Academical).

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Jason Scotland replaces Eamonn Brophy.

Dismissal

Filip Kiss (Ross County) is shown the red card for fighting.

Booking

Raffaele De Vita (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Jesus Garcia Tena.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Louis Longridge.

Booking

Lucas (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card.

Liam Boyce (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lucas (Hamilton Academical).

Attempt saved. Raffaele De Vita (Ross County) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt missed. Lucas (Hamilton Academical) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Paul Quinn.

Liam Boyce (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jesus Garcia Tena (Hamilton Academical).

Attempt saved. Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Eamonn Brophy (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Attempt missed. Jackson Irvine (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Jackson Irvine (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical).

Foul by Martin Woods (Ross County).

Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 1, Hamilton Academical 1. Michael Gardyne (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Darren Lyon.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Michael McGovern.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Darian MacKinnon.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic37285479176289
2Aberdeen37236857322575
3Inverness CT371981052371565
4St Johnstone37159133334-154
5Dundee Utd37165165556-153
6Dundee371112144654-845
7Hamilton37148154953-450
8Partick Thistle37129164844445
9Kilmarnock37118184357-1441
10Ross County37118184462-1841
11Motherwell37105223863-2535
12St Mirren3793253065-3530
View full Scottish Premiership table

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